Opel/Vauxhall has yet to debut or even hint at their all-new Astra hatchback, but Australia’s Motoring.au already has the scoop on the car’s high-performance VXR variant. Wilfried Diehl, Opel’s Performance Variants Manager, confirmed to them work on the Astra VXR/OPC is already underway and will be complete in time for a 2017 launch.
The Astra VXR will utilize an engine which will be smaller in displacement than the current car’s 276 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder but with greater power output. Diehl said he thinks VXR will “go to 1.6-liters with around 280-plus horsepowers,” with the new engine. The car will also be considerably lighter, shedding up to 150 kg (330 lbs) of weight. The standard next-gen Astra is reported to be up to 220 lbs lighter than the current car, meaning even further weight reduction techniques will happen for the VXR.
Diehl notes they could use techniques learned when building the Astra OPC Extreme concept for the 2013 Geneva Motor Show to lighten the car.
“It was primarily a concept car that we would like to show new technologies. We had a lot of carbon parts in it,” Diehl said. He also added the planned run of 100 OPC Extreme cars is currently on hold.
News of the Astra VXR/OPC’s production comes along with the welcome information that Opel/Vauxhall’s next-gen high performance Corsa will be introduced in mid-2015. The Corsa OPC/VXR is long overdue for a replacement and even though the hot Astra is still relatively fresh, it could stand to be updated considering the highly competitive segment it competes in.